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Missing boy not forgotten: Colt Clark

Seminole County Sheriff's Office
Colt Clark has been missing for nearly 10 years.
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SEMINOLE, Okla. — Suspicious circumstances in the disappearance of Colt Clark continue to haunt investigators in Seminole County, Oklahoma. Nine-year-old Levi Colton Clark reportedly disappeared as a runaway on April 20, 2006. Today he would be 20 years old.

He and his older brother Austin “Homer” Clark lived under DHS supervision in a kinship foster care home with his Aunt Rebecca and Uncle James “Rex” Clark in Seminole. Their biological parents were trying to recover from drug addiction at that time.

A Few Clues

There is strong reason to believe Colt did not flee his home. According to Seminole County Sheriff Investigator, David Hanson, Rebecca Clark placed a 911 call reporting that Colt had “jumped out the window and took off running.” When Hanson brought in a scent dog with a proven record for finding people, the dog didn’t detect any scent outside Colt’s window and did not pick up a track outside the residence beyond 10 feet.

“I believe if he had jumped out the window like they said he did and took off running, we would have got a track somewhere. He didn’t hit on a leaf, on a single blasted thing,” said Hanson.

A massive search which covered thousands of surrounding acres turned up no clues. OSBI and FBI participated in the case. Expert search crews came from out of state to help. “Sometimes we had a few hundred people searching, combing square miles, huge amounts of terrain,” said Hanson.

Seminole Co. Sheriff Shannon Smith and Investigator David Hanson review the case file at their office in Wewoka. (Mindy Ragan Wood / Red Dirt Report)

During investigators’ interview immediately following the runaway call, Colt’s brother told investigators that he wouldn’t have left behind his favorite shoes. “Homer said he had two pair of shoes that he always wore and both pair were still at the house,” said Sheriff Smith.

Hanson said, “Homer said if he was a runaway he would have for sure taken his boots and the boots were still there. The only thing missing was his backpack. When we talked to Homer, he wouldn’t look at us. He looked at them (the Clarks) the whole time. There was total control in that room. It was like he was looking at them, checking with them for permission to say anything.”

Investigators soon concluded nothing in the case fit with a runaway. No one is certain when anyone outside the home last saw Colt alive. The boys looked a lot alike. There was a possible sighting in front of United Motors in Seminole a week to ten days prior to the 911 call. A neighbor spoke to Colt about a month before he disappeared.

Back to the House

The Clarks had taken Colt and Homer out of public school soon after taking them into their care and were homeschooling them. Because they were under DHS supervision, a counselor had repeatedly attempted to meet with the family.

The former home of Levi Colton Clark where Rex and Rebecca Clark still live. (Mindy Ragan Wood / Red Dirt Report)

“We found out at the time that DHS wanted to get out there to talk to Colt. They (the Clarks) kept making excuses. They would schedule an appointment but then call back and say he was sick or had to go to the doctor, they made several excuses. Finally the worker told them, ‘Look we’re coming out there today and we’re going to see Colton.’ That’s when Rebecca called 911.

She said he was scared of DHS and jumped out of his window and started running,” said Hanson.

A thorough search of the home and property yielded no evidence. However, Sheriff Smith said they did find a receipt from a local lumberyard dated March 1, listing items “that could be consistent with disposing of a body.” Investigators did not want to say what those listed items were.

Hanson observed that Colt’s uncle, Rex Clark, seemed unconcerned during the search of the home and property. “Even two or three days later, he didn’t seem concerned. He said that he raised the boys as survivalists and that he knew how to survive for months or years on his own.”

The sign greeting visitors to the Clark property. (Mindy Ragan Wood / Red Dirt Report)

According to early news reports, then Sheriff Joe Craig said that the Clarks immediately referred to Colt in the past tense and he believed that they were hiding something. 

Days following the incident, investigators asked the Clarks to take a lie detector test. They agreed but later refused. Rebecca Clark declined at the discretion of their mental health professional, saying that the results would not be accurate due to medications that Rex and Homer were taking, and Rex having PTSD.

This pond on the Clark property was dragged after disappearance of Colt Clark in 2006. (Mindy Ragan Wood / Red Dirt Report)

The Neighbor

According to a letter published in the Seminole Producer in March 2008, the Clark’s neighbor claims he had spoken to Colt “at least 30 days before the disappearance.” Cliff Lowery wrote that he spoke regularly to Colt and their last conversation belied a fear of his uncle Rex. Colt said his “dad” Rex was angry with Lowery because he thought that Lowery had called the fire department. Rex was burning a brush pile during a burn ban.

Lowery said he didn’t call the fire department and that Colt became scared, started crying and every few minutes begged him not to call Rex because he would “get really mad.”

That conversation ended when his aunt stood out on the porch and called him inside. Lowery wrote that he never called Rex Clark, but didn’t promise Colt he wouldn’t. He never saw Colt again but did see other family members outside after that.

Apparently the relationship between the neighbors deteriorated and by March 2008, when the letter was published, Lowery sought a protective order. He accused Rex Clark of firing a gun at his feet and pointing a gun at him while on his own property. Clark pled guilty to recklessly handling a firearm March 12, 2008. A protective order was ultimately granted against Clark in October 2008.

The Case Today

Hanson and Smith say the case is at a standstill due to a lack of leads and a lack of cooperation from Rex and Rebecca Clark. OSBI and the sheriff’s office have followed up on sightings from Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Tennessee and even Canada: each one a dead end.

Seminole County Sheriff Shannon Smith (Mindy Ragan Wood / Red Dirt Report)

Austin “Homer” Clark was soon removed from the home, but investigators said his name changed and they have not been able to locate him. “All I know is that he lives out of state,” said Hanson. “He was traumatized by it.”

The boys’ biological parents were excluded as suspects early in the investigation. Attempts by Red Dirt Report to contact the Clarks were not successful.

For now, Hanson and Smith hope someone comes forward. “We took it personal back then,” said Hanson quietly. “We wanted to find him. We still do. It’s one of those cases that never leaves you.”

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Levi Colton Clark can call the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office at 405-382-9340.

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About the Author

Mindy Ragan Wood

Mindy Ragan Wood is a freelance writer and editor with a special interest in investigative and...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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